California Voters Face Long Lines, Glitches, and Dysfunctional Voting Machines

This evening, hours before the polls closed in California, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the state’s voters to “stay in line” amid reports of long lines and dysfunctional voting machines.

A spokesperson for California’s secretary of state told the Associated Press that election workers in 15 counties reported problems connecting with the state’s voter registration database.  

In Los Angeles, where more than 5 million people are registered to vote, voters have reported long lines outside polling places. Inside, poll workers have been trying to keep up with LA County’s first redesign of its voting technology in more than a half-century. In some places, the wait to vote was three hours.

The New York Times detailed the snafus: 

At the root of the delays seemed to be slow technology. For the first time, voter rolls were electronic so people could cast their ballots at any vote center. But that meant when the tablets poll workers used to check in voters were overwhelmed, it caused major backups in the lines.

There was also confusion about whether those who had filled out interactive online ballots ahead of time could join a separate, shorter line. There were also reports of voting machines malfunctioning.

For weeks, state and county officials have been warning of long lines on Election Day, in part because of the new system and also because voters could register in person on Tuesday.

There were reports of two hour waits at several polling places throughout Los Angeles County, with poll workers directing voters to other sites that had equally long waits. Several machines reportedly failed, leaving many voting booths sitting empty and leading to even longer waits. At one polling place, a poll worker handed out candy to weary voters, and campaigns sent pizza to several voting sites at the University of California campuses

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.